UCDP GED 2.0 now launched!

UCDP Georeferenced Event Dataset (UCDP GED) version 2.0 now released!

Today, 21st October, the Uppsala Conflict Data Program officially releases its latest major dataset update: the UCDP GED version 2.0.

The UCDP GED is an event-based and georeferenced dataset on organized violence, with the latest update making data available for the African and Asian continents, from 1989-2014.

This release contains a major update to our African data, expanding the time series from 2010 to 2014.The biggest innovation is, however, the inclusion in the dataset of the entirety of Asia (the previous release contained only East Asia) from 1989-2014. This release includes organized violence in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka.

The dataset now totals approximately 90 000 events of organized violence.

Some changes have also been made to the codebook, to allow for a better and easier user experience. As always, the data are available in several different formats: CSV, KML, Excel, R, SQL, and as shapefiles.

You can see a visualization of the data HERE, and download the data and the codebook HERE. To read the dataset presentation article, please click HERE.

Our next release, coming soon, covers the Middle East from 1989 to 2014.

The UCDP GED contains data on all types of organized violence, disaggregated spatially and temporally down to the level of the individual incidents of fatal violence. Each event comes complete with date of the event, place of the event (with coordinates), actors participating in the event, estimates of fatalities, as well as variables that denote the certainty with which these data are known. The dataset allows for the analysis of the causes, dynamics and resolution of organized violence at a level of analysis below the state system. The data can be conjoined with other sub-state data, such as disaggregated information on population, economy and the environment to allow for types of analyses and answer questions that country-level cannot address.

 

//R

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Coming updates and some UCDP stats for the past year…

Updates to come…

2014 has now drawn to a close, and we are well into 2015. Updates of the Conflict Encyclopedia and our datasets are currently ongoing. And, since 2014 was not a particularly good year for peace, there is much coding and writing to be done to complete this update.

In terms of other updates, 2015 will also see the launch of the 2.0 version of the UCDP GED (Georeferenced Event Dataset), which will now encompass also the Asian continent. Work on this update has been a little more time consuming than we initially thought and had hoped. This is in part due to the sheer magnitude of data to be launched, but also because we took the opportunity to update, clean, and enhance all the data for Asia (as we did also for the Africa release). No release date is available as of yet though.

A different type of data…

We normally publish numbers related to organized violence only, since this is our mission. For this year’s annual report on our activities we have, however, also looked more closely at how much some our datasets are utilized by the research and policy making communities. So, here are some stats on how some of our main dataset have been cited in Google Scholar so far and during 2014:


Gleditsch et al., 2002, Armed Conflict 1946-2001: A New Dataset, Journal of Peace Research

All-time citations: 2095

2014 citations (approximate): 275


Harbom, Melander, and Wallensteen, 2008, Dyadic Dimensions of Armed Conflict, 1946-2007, Journal of Peace Research

All-time citations: 233

2014 citations (approx.): 37


Eck and Hultman, 2007, One-sided Violence Against Civilians in War: Insights from New Fatality Data, Journal of Peace Research

All-time citations: 239

2014 citations (approx.): 43


Sundberg, Eck, and Kreutz, 2012, Introducing the UCDP Non-State Conflict Dataset, Journal or Peace Research

All-time citations (including beta version): 49

2014 citations (approx.): 20


Sundberg and Melander, 2013, Introducing the UCDP Georeferenced Event Dataset, Journal of Peace Research

All-time citations (including beta version and codebook): 165

2014 citations (approx.): 65


Kreutz, 2010, How and When Armed Conflicts End: Introducing the UCDP Conflict Termination Dataset, Journal of Peace Research

All-time citations: 176

2014 citations (approx.): 44

Keep your eyes peeled for further updates!

//R

2013 Armed Conflict Update: Two out of five war fatalities occurred in Syria

The UCDP’s update of armed conflicts for 2013 is about to be released, as always in the Journal of Peace Research. A press release detailing some of the findings has, however, been released.

 

The introduction reads:

 

“Conflicts in the world last year increased by one compared to 2012, up to 33. This is reported by peace researchers at Uppsala University’s Conflict Data Program. The number has remained stable over the past decade. 2012 saw an increase in the number of battle-related deaths with the number of casualties in Syria completely overshadowing any other ongoing conflict. In 2012, two out of five people dying in battles, died in Syria.”

 

Read the entire press release here!

 

//R

New charts and graphs

We’ve finished updating the graphs for most of our data on violence, so these now go up until 2012. You can have a peak here: http://www.pcr.uu.se/research/ucdp/charts_and_graphs/ if you want to find different formats.

If you just want to glance, check out the gallery below:

 

//R

Map of the world’s conflicts in 2012

Sometimes you are forgetful. This applies to a blog as well. I should have posted this as soon as it was done, but nobody is perfect.

Please find a map detailing the world’s armed conflict in 2012 below! (click to enlarge)

armedconflicts_2012_workdoc

//R

Videos, photos and social media in UCDP data (a reply to Will Moore)

Will Moore posted and interesting post at politicalviolenceataglance.org yesterday, and simultaneously tweeted a question to the UCDP that read: ”Do we try to bring citizen images/video into our data collection?”

The post concerned how certain news companies and human rights groups have made it a skill to analyze and verify video and stills from abuses and fighting in conflicts, and also how social media can be a good source to confirm details on the ground. In the social media age there are certainly lots and lots of video, stills and witness statements flying around that could be used in collecting the type of data that the UCDP is interested in.

But, the answer to Will’s question is “we kind of already do”. The ambiguity in this answer has to do with the fact that the UCDP, in its coding, to a certain extent relies on videos and stills at least, although mainly indirectly. We don’t have the resources to monitor all stills and videos that are out there to confirm actors, deaths or locations for our data. We do, however, rely on such data indirectly and we do at times analyze videos and stills for geographic, actor, contextual or other information.

When I say indirectly I mean that when approaching a source based a lot on videos or stills we would not have our coders delve into that material and attempt to code it. We would also not make use of that source in an indirect manner until we are clear about who the sender is, what its bias is and how reliable the information appears to be. If, after a review, such a source appears to be reliable we would tap it for as much information as possible. So, such data will enter our collection, but we would not interpret it ourselves to any great degree. And in the past couple of years the availability of such sites and such data have increased greatly, as is perhaps most visible on the sites that monitor casualties in the Syrian conflict. It is a never-ending parade of stills and vids of dead people (you literally see dead people).

We do approach vids and stills and use other ‘new’ technology when coding though. Perhaps the most important use is to attempt to verify large-scale or significant massacres, but rarely is their good footage of these events as they happen. More common is to use vids and stills to get a feel for context. We used this method widely when considering if the clashes in Thailand a few years back – between the government and the Reds and Blacks – should be included as an armed conflict. There were many videos and great stills of these clashes, which we used to try to understand the conflict dynamics and how the more violent Blacks would stand in front of Reds and attempt to induce violence from the government (or protect the Reds from government violence from another point of view, see picture below). We’ve done the same in other cases, such as in Sri Lanka and in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Visualization can be important for context. But again, this is not in the SOP’s that we use.

 

lollitop_01_Unrest_in_Thailand_03856024

 

More common use of ‘new’ technology is the extensive use we make of Google Earth in georeferencing. Whilst not the greatest tool on Earth for such activities it has a few important uses for countries that are not well covered in gazetteers or other geodatabases. It has been a handy tool in pinpointing the exact locations of bridges, river crossings, islands, minute and isolated villages and many obscure locations. I remember using it a lot when geocoding Libya, through pinpointing remote airfields and crossroads that would otherwise have been impossible to find.

So, to sum up, we almost solely use vids and stills indirectly, through making use of other’s work (which we feel is ok, since so many make use of our final products for free) in interpreting and evaluating these sources. Should we use it more? Currently we lack those types of resources, as coding fatalities globally every year through our present method swallows all available resources (and more). However, we would gladly welcome global projects such as the ones mentioned in the post; they would make our job easier and more reliable.

//R

UCDP in Almedalen, 1/7 2013

The UCDP, represented by its Director Peter Wallensteen (Dag Hammarskjöld Professor of Peace and Conflict Research 1985-2012, and Richard G. Starmann Sr. Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame), will be attending this year’s Almedalsveckan in Visby, Gotland.

Professor Wallensteen will be presenting the UCDP’s latest data on international trends in armed conflict, introduce the UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia to the general public, as well as participate in a panel debate on the topic of ‘What can Sweden do to prevent armed conflicts in the world?’

Other participants in this debate include:

Yves Daccord, Director General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Katarina Engberg, security policy expert at the Ministry of Defense

Allan Widman, member of parliament

Anna-Lena Sörenson, member of parliament

Date: 1/7 2013

Place: Uppsala university, Campus Gotland, Cramérgatan 3 (Studentcentrum)

URL for the event: http://www.almedalsveckan.info/event/user-view/13889;jsessionid=9B1885922FBB96FA0E379ACEFBC55F0F